Spain’s Jerusalem

Toledo jewish spain

Hi everyone! It’s me again, Gal, the ‘best places to visit Israel’-girl. It’s been a long time since my first blog… 

I wanted to share another beautiful city with the Chabad On Campus Community.

It is one of the most beautiful countries where I have had the chance to live and find connections: the city of Toledo. 

Having lived in Spain for a long time, every time I had friends or family visiting for a few days, I always managed to squeeze in a day trip to Toledo. It is 40 minutes by train from Madrid, and the best way to get to know this city is on foot.

Spain jewish toledo chabad on campus jewish

I will share a little bit of historical background, food recommendations, attractions and the influence this city had on me with you.

Toledo was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986, it is located on the banks of the Tagus in central Iberia. Toledo is known as the “City of the Three Cultures”: for the cultural influences of Christians, Muslims, and Jews reflected in its history.

In the Middle-Ages Toledo was the capital of Spain. The name of the city is mentioned in Don Quixote, written by one of Spains’s most famous writers: Miguel Cervantes. The book is about a  knight with his loyal companion Sancho Panza, who rode together from Segovia to Toledo to fight giants who threatened the Spanish kingdom.

Toledo jewish spain

The first thing I saw was this beautiful bridge, which connects the train station and the city. Later, if you look at it from above, you can see it as an island. The view was breathtaking and the colours were so vibrant. Entering the city, I saw a very old building with a great cultural fusion. Everything is one big melting pot. From Catholic churches to Muslim- inspired buildings, to Hebrew letters on the floor and walls.

The first thing I had to cross off my bucket list was eating a well-known local dish called Paella. Usually, the classic dish has rabbit and chicken in it, but on a hot summer day, it is better to take choose the vegetarian option paired with a nice cup of Sangría or beer.

As a Jewish person, I think that there is always that feeling of connection to our history and heritage the moment you see a lot of Hebrew or culturally related writings. For example, this small logo is written in Hebrew here in Spain, if you look closely you can see the shape of the country inside the word.

Jewish toledo spain

With all these wonderful photos and the great experience I have had, I hope that one day, when you visit Spain, you will also put Toledo on your bucket list as a fun day out.

Gal Paran
Gal Paran was born in Israel but later moved to Hungary and is currently studying at Leiden University in The Hague. Because of her international background, Gal’s main hobby is travelling and getting to know the places she visits better. In her blogs, she takes you on a journey with her!

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